By John Onyi
Worried by the spate of energy theft and other associated infractions by some customers in the system, the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution (PHED) Plc. is embarking on naming and shaming of offenders.
The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, PHED, Dr. Henry Ajagbawa made this known in a public forum recently in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital. Dr. Ajagbawa who decried the negative impact of energy theft on the business continuity of the company said that aside naming and shaming, the offenders would be made to face the wrath of law.
The MD/CEO warned the offenders to desist from such an unholy and wicked act capable of threatening the sustainability of the company noting that no stone shall be left unturned until every offender is brought to book, “we are determined to eradicate energy theft in the system and that’s why we are collaborating with the security agencies. Any customer caught by-passing or tampering with our meter will not only be named and shamed but shall in addition face the full weight of the law and thereafter made to pay for loss of revenue arising from the unwholesome act”, Dr. Ajagbawa said.
Dr. Ajagbawa had in a previous media parley stated that PHED was losing over N2.5billion on monthly basis due to energy theft. During the parley, the MD/CEO had explained that energy theft should not only be the concerns of Distribution Companies, but the concerns of all Nigerians, as curbing it remains one of the ways through which services can be improved in the power sector.
“One of the ways that we can survive and improve on our services is when customers pay their bill and stop meter bypass. We are coming after those who are involved in meter bypass and we will get back what belongs to us. Those sabotaging the system must be brought to book. We need a legislation to criminalize energy theft and vandalism of electricity facilities. If you criminalize it and make the consequences severe definitely, we will have it better. Nigerians should learn to pay for energy consumed”, Dr. Ajagbawa concluded.